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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffVideo-Cellar Date: Nov 29, 2009 12:46am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: What is a 'restoration' and is it grounds for ownership of PD materials?

I thought I could help everyone out by listing some of the elements of restoration and transfer of film to video or DVD can be protected by copyright.

It has been said before on this thread, if you want clarification on the rights claimed in PD film releases on offer its best to go directly to the source. The small operators are usually very accomodating to requests to use material, especially in independent low budget film projects and the like. Film collectors and archivists like this are usually a pleasant bunch of folks who love film and have been able to make a bit of a living off it. Even though there have been some very famous corporate film scrooges who have tarred the community, for most of us it is about sharing our collections. Most collectors are only asking for fair pay for work done, often at way below the "market" rate.

The copyright issues here are pretty common sense. You have to keep in mind that copyright law was written with books in mind, so the general principles are that, when you reprint a PD book, you have copyright on your typographical arrangement and pagage but not the raw unabridged text but if you edit, expand or abridge the text you own copyright on your new text. So basically the type of work Alpha Video, Mill Creek, etc does is not copyrightable. The type of work Retromedia, Blackhawk Films, etc do is.

The list isn't definitive, but it covers the most common reas that the USCO accepts as a basis for a derivative work copyright claim.

Some key things you can validly claim copyright on:
- Colorization
- Colour tinting
- Colour grading
- Composition or arrangement of musical scores
- Editing and arrangement of scenes, including: transitions, fades, rearrangement of scenes, addition of alternate, cut or extended scenes, reversal of footage processed incorrectly, replacing missing scenes with still images, etc.
- The addition of sound (or visual) effects.
- Audio commentaries
- Compilation of films or music
- New titles or subtitles (embedded or otherwise)
- Panning and scanning, significant reframing or letterboxing.
- Any original, or significantly modified pre-existing, artwork or menu designs.
- Manual digital restoration process that recreate lost portions of frames. Probably not for just removing spots but for recreating whole missing portions of frames, where the person using the process, and not the program itself, is creating the replacement portion. In other words, digital frame-by-frame repairs not automated digital processes.
- The creation of additional "b" frames to cover film to video speedup.

You can't claim:
- Blanket copyright on the original work or the original print by virtue of having created a new master. Your copyright is only on the new elements of the new master.
- The products of mechanical processes for "cleaning" the film (physically cleaning the film stock, using wet gate telecine processes, etc)
- The results of automated digital restoration processes.


This post was modified by Video-Cellar on 2009-11-29 08:46:07

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Poster: ramapith Date: Nov 29, 2009 10:46am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: What is a 'restoration' and is it grounds for ownership of PD materials?

"You can't claim: Blanket copyright on the original work or the original print by virtue of having created a new master."

I don't think anyone here has even considered claiming anything that silly. But I'm aware of at least one big studio having tried. Truth is stranger than fiction, Doc...

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Poster: yofitofu Date: Nov 29, 2009 11:35am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: What is a 'restoration' and is it grounds for ownership of PD materials?

This is extremely useful information. Thanks Cellar.

I wonder on the "b frame" issue, since that is an exact duplicate of a pre-existing frame, if this would constitute original creative work. If so, it could be a huge loophole which would allow archivists some latitude to claim copyright.

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffVideo-Cellar Date: Nov 29, 2009 4:02pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: What is a 'restoration' and is it grounds for ownership of PD materials?

I am unsure about the "b" frame issue also. However, I have seen it listed as a basis for a derivative work copyright claim on a registration lodged with the USCO. The things on the list are basis I have seen people claim copyright on. I suppose duplicating of existing frames would not be covered. However, creation (digital or manual) of new "in between" frames like the BBC does when restoring the 25fps kinoscopes of 50fps video. They digitally create unique "b" frames in order to remove the ghosting effect. But these are very special cases and simple duplicating of frames wouldn't apply.

There was one thing I forgot to mention, and I think it is something that has never been asked about on this forum at all. That is content encryption and content locking on dvds. It is illegal to use programs that unlock encrypted discs (DVD shrink, etc). So, if a PD content publsiher has released a film on DVD and that DVD is encrypted with a copy protection mechanism, copying can become a violation of the DMCA provisions (anti-circumvention). This is how studios commonly protect the restored/official PD work they release.

Encryption is not a basis for copyright claim, but it can be used as a way to legally protect pd dvds from unauthorised copying. The law does not state that the underlying properties have to be copyright for anti-circumvention to apply, only that content encryption or locking must be present and, of course, there will be some elements on every DVD that are the copyright property of the creator/publisher.

This post was modified by Video-Cellar on 2009-11-30 00:02:50

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Poster: Operateme Date: Jan 18, 2010 9:54am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: What is a 'restoration' and is it grounds for ownership of PD materials?

This is useful information. thank you so much
http://www.momyweb.com/forums/index.php